• Pupil Personnel Services
    The Mission of Pupil Personnel Services and Service Providers


    When students struggle to make meaningful progress academically, the joy of learning may be lost to frustration. The Department of Pupil Personnel Services mission is to provide support for students, staff, families, and community so that students may have successful educational experiences.

    By definition, Pupil Personnel Services include:
        • School counseling
        • School social work
        • School nursing
        • School psychology
        • School Mental Health Services
    Within Highlands School District, these services are organized to meet the needs of all students and to support the educational program within each school building. 
    Guidance Services are available at the Middle and High schools.  Two school counselors serve the middle school: Mr. Chuck Rhoads and TBA. Serving students at the High School are school counselors  Mrs. Beth Carrarini, Mrs. Marilyn Skwortz and Mrs. Julie Seitz-AllmanMs. Kim Hines is the HS guidance secretary.
    Student Assistance Teams, specially trained groups of teachers, school counselors, administrators and a liaison from the local mental health agency (Family Services of Western Pennsylvania)  are available at all levels to support students who are experiencing difficulty with the educational process.  Issues that are addressed include academic problems, emotional/social issues,  and alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use/abuse.
    The Student Assistance Teams and the Elementary Student Assistance teams are part of the Multi-tiered System of Support (MTSS) available to all HSD students.
    Mrs. Diane Phelps, social worker, provides services to Fairmount and Fawn Primary Centers. The Social Worker at Grandview Upper Elementary School is Ms. Shatona Hollingsworth.  Dr. Jodi Porter, School Psychologist (724-226-2400, ext 4538), provides psychological services throughout the district. 
    Psychological Services, Crisis Intervention, Crisis Post-vention (support services provided after a crisis), and Non-Violent Crisis Intervention training are also coordinated by Dr. Porter. 
    The Comprehensive Records And Confidentiality Plan can be accessed through the link below. 
    Nursing Services are available in all buildings. 
    • High School Nursing services: Mrs. Shelly Long-Vickers, Certified School Nurse.
    • Middle School, Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament, and St. Joseph's High School: Mrs. Melissa Lentz, Certified School Nurse.
    • Grandview, Fairmount, and Fawn Schools: Mrs. Mary Beth Jones, Certified and Registered Nurse Practitioner and Certified School Nurse.  Mrs. Lynn Malaspina, RN, and Mrs. Lisa Grosholz, LPN, assist Mrs. Jones.

    Licensed Practical Nurses provide services under the supervision of the Certified School Nurses.

    The district also provides services to students and families experiencing homelessness. Contact 724-226-2400 for more information.
    Student Assistance Services, Elementary Student Assistance Services, and Instructional Support Services are combined under the heading of MTSS. Mrs. Debra Lehew, Director of Special Education Services, coordinates this program (724-226-2400).
    Concerns regarding Title IX compliance (sexual harassment between students or teachers and students and equitable participation in sports) are handled by Chuck Debor. Concerns regarding Title VII  compliance (harassment  between staff members) are coordinated by the district business manager (724-226-2400).
    The Student Services Plan (mandated by PDE Chapter 12) can be assessed at the link below.


    Mandated annual notices for PPS can be accessed through the links below. They also appear in the school calendar:

    •     FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)
    •     HIPAA (Health Information Portability and Access Act)
    •     The McKinney-Vento Act (Services for families experiencing homelessness)
    •     The Student Services Plan
    •     The Comprehensive Records and Confidentiality Plan           
    •            Mandated annual notices regarding childfind and special education services appear in the special education link.